Sunday, September 25, 2011

Too soon?

I've drug them all out ... that's as far as I've gotten, though.

Riding the range...

KT has learned that Grumpy has a tractor and all she has to do is ask, and he'll fire it up and take her for a ride...she's a smart cookie!

Olivia got to ride, too!

Movie Review --- Seven Days in Utopia

I really was looking forward to this movie, since it was set near us in Utopia, Texas, and since it was finally going to be a movie that I thought John would love, golf being the central theme.  But I was wrong....the theme turned out to be something totally different - it was a young golfer's journey to finding faith - in himself, in his family, in other people, and most importantly in God.
The movie was good (although not great) and I enjoyed it, despite some unbelievably easily resolved conflicts brought up in the movie, especially the main characters relationship with his father. I think I'd describe it as "cheesy" in many parts because of the odd flashback sequences and acting of some of the characters.  There are some great actors in this movie, but it was somewhat awkward in parts.  I LOVE Robert Duval, love him.  He did a fine job, the movie was a bit rushed, though, and it needed more time to develop the characters.
I would have known much of this if I had done any research at all about the movie before we went...I've found out that this movie was based on David L. Cook’s faith-based novel, Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia.
The movie is completely PG, absolutely no sex, curse words, nothing.  There is some flirtatious bits between the main character and a young woman in the movie, but not even so much as a kiss. They kept the spotlight on this young man's journey from anger and frustration to finding faith in God and in himself.  
I'm interested in reading the book now, and so is John. From what I've read the book is even better. I'm putting it on my list.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A few friends helped me break in the new bar...

And the best thing is that my whole family was together for the weekend. It was heavenly!

Emily's Shower

Whew, what a busy last week we had!  The weekend of parties began with our niece, Emily's, wedding shower at Colleen's casa.  We had a great turn out and Emily got some great STUFF!  
We're sure looking forward to this wedding in late October...and the trip to Fort Worth.  Hopefully the whole family will be together again for that weekend!
Colleen made these yarn wrapped letters to represent Emily and Aaron's initials, and has directions on her shop site.  They turned out so great.  I'm planning to make some for the mantle for fall at my house.
Here are a few pictures of the event.....

Monday, September 12, 2011

UTSA Football

I went to my first UTSA football game on Saturday!  It would have been so much more fun if they had won, but I have to say it was such an experience.  I love seeing those students all cheering on their team...the student sections were FULL!  John and I saw Andi and Jeff out in the parking lot where they were tailgating. I didn't think to take their picture as I was so intent on getting to a bathroom.  Dang!  I didn't realize what a huge thing tailgating was -- they were everywhere.  Now that's a great way to get there early and get good parking, and enjoy the time with friends.  I just wish it had been cooler for them.  Here's a few pics from the event.  I'm glad we got the season tickets - it's an experience, and such a great thing for San Antonio.  Unfortunately everyone will have to now retire their "UTSA Football - Still Undefeated" shirts.  Oh well, you can't win them all.

I'm going to tell you a secret - every Spurs game that I've ever attended, they've lost.  I may have to stay away from the UTSA games so they can win.  It might be all my fault.  I'm feeling guilty.  JK!

Another found photo...

I now you're thinking...that Pat, she's a real pack rat, and must have stuff piled all over her house.  Shamefully, you would be right.  But I promise, I'm in the process of cleaning it up.  Another year or so and I'll have delved into every nook and cranny in the house.
Here are my grandparents, Edward and Emilie, again.  It appears they are harvesting something, gourds or melons or something.  The picture was in bad shape and someone reproduced it.  I'm still glad I have it.  No dates or anything written on it.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fun at the Zoo!

We had some fun on Friday!  Grammy, Grumpy and KT went to the zoo!
What a perfect day for it, the weather was beautiful and didn't really start getting hot until we were leaving, about 12:30pm.  We didn't get to see the whole thing, KT was so ready to nap by the time we left, but that'll give us a reason to go again sometime soon.  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What I'm Reading -- One Second After

I just finished a book that scared the hell out of me! One Second After by William Forstchen was quite an eye opener. The book is fiction, but its based on an event that could really happen, an EMP (electro magnetic pulse) weapon used on the United States by an unidentified enemy.  No nuclear fall out, no bombs going off, just immediate silence.  Everything stops. The story is set in North Carolina -- the main character is an ex-military officer and is now a history professor at a small local religious college.  His skills and knowledge are crucial to how this story plays out.

The story follows how being thrown back 100 years without electricity,  in one day everything that runs on electricity or electronics is fried.  When you think about how much of our lives is dependent on these, it's mind boggling!  The main character's daughter is a insulin dependent diabetic, and his father-in-law is in a local nursing home.  You can only imagine what happens with both of them.  

This book was excellent - a real warning about how unprepared we are for something like this. It's a stark warning, and I can promise it will be a rich topic of discussion in your family after you read it.  Especially thought provoking was the lack of response from our so called "friends" in the world community.  It's what you might expect.

Can you cook all of your meals on an open fire? Can you forage for food in the surrounding woods, trap wild game, boil all of your water (if you can find it), clean and butcher any meat you might catch.  Who eats first? What is your obligation to your neighbors, friends, community? How do you rebuild your community?  How do you handle violence, theft, murder, raids, strangers?  Would you eye your own pets as food after everything else was gone? 

I immediately began to have respect for any antiques that we may have.  This community was lucky enough to have a few cars that were built before the advent of all those electronics. They run, at least until the gasoline goes bad.  

From the description on Audible:  In a small North Carolina town, one man struggles to save his family after America loses a war that will send it back to the Dark Ages.Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States, literally within one second.This book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future and our end.


One of my mother's job on the farm where she was raised was turkey herder.  She told us that she often would take the horse out to keep an eye on the turkeys as they foraged in the fields to be sure that no varmints would come in and kill them.  She would take a book and read most of the time, in a tree or under one.  This photo is not dated but it's been in the family for a very long time.

Grandpa Vahalik's family

This is my Grandpa Ed Vahalik's family.  I'm curious about this one, since there is a small child, Julie Pavlicek in the photo, and Frantiska's maiden name looks like it was Pavlicek.  Some of my documents have her first name as Frances, and some as Frantiska. Was she a widow or divorced?  I'm at a loss. The baby is Jerome Vahalik. Was Jerome older or younger then Edward?  I need to do some research unless you can give me some answers?  Anyone?

Adolph Vahalik
Born July 11, 1858 Czechoslavakia
Died December 6, 1912

Frantiska Sedlacek Pavlicek Vahalik
Born May 14, 1864
Died May 10, 1922

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bar stools - Check!

Garden  Ridge Pottery loves us! But I'm very happy with them - the almost final addition to the bar (yes, we're still missing one light - had to special order it.) They swivel, even.
Almost done!
I have to say, today was very nice out there - the weather was perfect. Finally we can make some use of it.  We didn't want to come in!

Found this cute guy in Fredricksburg a few weeks ago..isn't he great?!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Grandma Schwencke, 84

Here are a few pictures of Mom's birthday party today.  We had her favorite lemon pie, and she ate two pieces! It was too much attention for her, though, and she was very ready to go back to her room after about one hour.  I'm glad we celebrated, even though as each year passes she slips more and more into her own world.  I'm so glad she got to see two of her grandchildren today and one great-grandchild! 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Tomorrow is my mother's birthday.  She'll be 84 years old.
I'll post some pictures of her little party we're having for her at her assisted living home.
It'll be her favorite - lemon meringue pie!
No date on this picture, but she looks around 16 or 17-ish?

My maternal great grandparents...

These are my Grandmother, Emilie's, parents.  They were born in Czechoslovakia (I think) although I'd like to research this a little better.  I do have some information on them, but not much.

He is Paul Ludwig Svec and she is Petrolina Houdek Losak Svec.  I wonder if this was their wedding day? They are very decked out, and he has a spray of flowers on his coat lapel. Are you wondering, like I am, what happened to the left side of his handle-bar moustache?

Paul Ludwig Svec
Born: September 28, 1836
Died: October 18, 1903

Petrolina Houdek Losak Svec
Born: June 15, 1866
Died: July 21, 1941 

Found in a closet

I found Dad's belt in a closet.  This brought tears to my eyes, I didn't know we had it. I think Mom gave it to John after Dad died, but we both have fuzzy memories of how it got here.  It was an amazing find. I think I'll use it around a frame and put a picture of Dad in it.
Herbert Russell Schwencke

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Here are my mother's parents, Ed and Emily Vahalik.  I remember them very well as we would spend almost every holiday at their home in Yoakum, Texas.  I absolutely loved to go to their place...there was so much space and fun things to do there if you were a kid. We would walk down to the tank, run through the pastures, climb through the barns and farm tractors, it was a constant wonder.  Grandpa usually had a pretty mean bull in the pasture, so we were very careful to be on the "right side" of the fence. We would "fish" for crayfish from the mud puddles with bacon on a string.

And the food ... oh my goodness.  Our visits usually turned into a huge family reunion at each holiday, and the tables were piled with food of all kinds.  Good, old fashioned country eating.
My grandmother never followed anything like a recipe.  She cooked and baked by feel - a pinch, a bit, a shake.  And everything turned out delicious. (So there to those television cooks who insist that you have to weigh and measure everything.  No so.)

Grandpa used to cool his coffee by pouring it into the saucer and letting it sit for a bit.  Then he'd sip it from the saucer.  Grandma served coffee in fancy cups and saucers with little flowers on them. No such thing as a mug in their home.  I loved their house, including the bathroom that was an add on to the front of the house - mom says they used an outhouse for most of her life there.  I don't remember a television in the house until much later.

They had a nice cement porch on the front of the house that gathered cool breezes as there was no air conditioning that I can remember. There was another cement pad at the back door that went out from their bedroom that had a huge black walnut tree that dropped big globs of black tassels on the porch, staining it in places.  Grandma loved her flowers and had them planted all around the place - beautiful big hydrangea bushes, too.
There was a windmill and pump in the front yard that brought water into a big water tank near the house. This was endlessly interesting to all of us kids from the big city.  But, the most interesting was the hidden stairs in their bedroom that went up into the attic where the kids used to sleep around the fireplace stovepipe.  It was something from a book, some days it was magical, some days it was creepy.  But we climbed up there every time we went there.

If you bought Grandma anything to wear, she would wrap it up in the tissue paper that it came in and store it in a cedar box in her room.  I never saw her wear any of those things.  They were her treasures, I guess. Grandma had a big hump in her back and was fairly hunched over in her older years, lack of calcium, I'm sure. Her poor spine. I think of her every day when I take my calcium supplement. These two were blessed by many grandchildren, many who lived in Yoakum, so they were lucky in that way.  Loved them!

Edmund Vclav Vahalik
Born July 19, 1890, Died November 23, 1974
Married on October 25, 1911, Cistern, Texas
From Hocheim, Texas (?)
Family was from Czechoslovakia

Emilie Johana Svec Vahalik
Born April 5, 1894, Died May 1, 1975
Married on October 25, 1911, Cistern, Texas
From Hocheim, Texas (?)
Family from Czechoslovakia